August 18th, 2017

NDP calls for hearings on Sears bankruptcy

Ottawa – New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to hold a parliamentary investigation on the liquidation of Sears Canada to study what changes to the law would prevent mistreatment of workers in similar cases in the future. The proposed hearings would pay special attention to the layoffs of workers without severance, the bonuses given to executives and, most recently, the chairman’s resignation in order to bid on the liquidation.

“We have to take a look at the awful handling of Sears Canada to see how it was allowed to happen and ensure that no other workers in Canada are treated this way,” said Scott Duvall, NDP Pensions Critic. “Why were big bonuses handed out while workers were denied severance? How does the boss get away with financially benefiting from the collapse of the company? The whole thing stinks.”

Earlier this week, Sears Canada Executive Chairman Brandon Stranzl announced he will be stepping down in order to develop a management bid to buy the insolvent retailer. Sears Canada filed for bankruptcy protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act in late June.

“We have seen this kind of thing too many times,” said Duvall. “When a company fails, the executives make out like bandits while workers lose everything. It’s time things changed.”

Sears Canada has already announced the closing of 59 stores across the country, the layoff of 2,900 employees and the refusal to provide severance pay, as well as the eventual elimination of retiree benefits and payments into its underfunded defined benefit plan.